Essay, Research Paper: Wicca Religion

Religion

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The many mysteries and complexities of the religion of Wicca originate from the
Celts, the druids of Britain and the mysteries of the Cauldron of Cerridwen of
Cerridwen and teachings of the transformation hidden in the story of Taliesin.
The oldest know European Wiccan practices actually originate form the ancient
regions in and around Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Italy. In most any case
this culture predates the Celtic tradition by at least a thousand years. In the
Celtic lands the druids taught what they called " Mystery tradition",
which was a blend of indigenous belief and foreign influences. Many people today
believe that the druid cult was the surviving remnant of an earlier
Indo-European priesthood, where the practices originate, Old European is a
region encompassing Italy and Greece and also reaching into Czechoslovakia,
southern Poland and the western Ukraine. These places are considered to be where
the foundation of the ancient Wiccan mysteries were created. The history of the
believers in this religion when in the middle of the first century BC the Celts
were caught between the expansion of the Roman Empire along the Rhine and Danube
and the Germanic invaders form the south. By the end of the century the Celts
had lost their command on the continent and were later held by the Romans who
moved on to invade and Britain, eventually their culture was transformed by
centuries of roman occupation and the Roman Catholic Church. The ancient pagan
traditions were driven into an underground society where they survived within
the old religion of Wicca. The history of the old religion goes back as far as
the hunter-gathers emergence into an agricultural community. The root of Wicca
as an religion date back as far as the Ice Age, when the human were painting and
carving pictures on cave walls. When the hunter-gather, forest-dwelling humans
began to emerge into an agriculture society they brought with them the
"Ancient Deity" forms of the wilderness. The Stag-Horned God of the
forest was transformed into the Goat-God of the pasture. The God of the forest
then becomes the God of the harvest. The early ancestors of Wiccans' worshipped
the great Goddess, who is personified as the mysteries of women. As the Great
Goddess, she reflected the mysterious and powerful nature of women to bleed for
days without growing weak and to give birth to another human being. Not only was
this power a mystery to early men, it was also a mystery to women themselves.
Out of the need to understand these abilities, the women isolated themselves
from men and formed female societies. When the word "Wicca" first
became known to the public, it was used to refer to the old pre-Christian
European religion. The meaning today has changed to fit the view of the
Neo-Pagan and New Age concepts. In reality Wicca is a nature religion
concentrating on the energies that flowed over the earth. Legend tells us that
great Gods who watched over their followers during the daily course of food
gathering and preparation and delivered them safely from the fall of humankind.
1484, was the persecution stage of the witches which turned into an
uncontrollable epidemic. In the first year 41 people were killed and burned in
Como, Italy. In 1510, 140 witches were burned at Brescia and 300 more at Como,
Italy 3 years later. At Valcanoia 70 people were burned and the inquisitor
claimed to have another 5,000 under suspension Germany saw over 6,000 executions
and northern figure about 50,000. In England, 1951, the last of the laws against
witchcraft were repealed by parliament, soon after a revival of the cult arose
in the Great British. During the 1950's and 60's Wicca grew and expanded parts
of Europe and into the United States and Australia. Many Wiccan and Neo-Pagans
magazines were established, there for creating a network for the Pagan
community. Two of the earliest most successful periodicals were "Green
Egg" and Circle Network News " which are still important publications
today. "The Wiccan Pagan Press Alliance (WPPA)" now servers as a
network and support system for writers and magazines in the Pagan community. The
basic teachings of the old Wiccan ways are based on the ways of nature and
humankind's understanding of spirituality as revealed in the sense of a healthy
community. The philosophy teaches common courtesy and respect for others so that
the essence of our spirituality can be discovered. All different forms of life
are respected, and everything is of equal importance. The only difference is
things are on different levels of evolution, but in the same sense humans are no
more important than animals nor are animals more important than plants and so
on. The religion considers life to be life, no matter what physical form it may
be. Wiccans believe in a "live and let live, non-violent philosophy and
tend to be tolerant of the beliefs the life styles of others." In the
ancient teachings, they teach us that the human body contains zones of energy.
These zones can be applied and accessed in order to generate personal power
towards a "magical goal." The watchers are a concept common to most
Wiccan Traditions although they are viewed differently by the different systems
within Wicca. The most known form of the "Watchers" is the Elemental
Rulers. The watcher are also called the "Grigori", mostly by the
Tanarric witches of Italy who are also know as the star witches. The early
stellar cults of Mesopotamia there were four "Royal" stars know as
lords, which was also called the watchers, each one of these "ruled"
over one of the four cardinal points common to astrology. Towers as a form of
worship was constructed bearing the symbols of the watchers, and their symbols
were set upon the towers for the purpose of evocation. These towers were called
ziggurats and were said to have been 270 feet high. During the "Rites of
calling" the watcher's symbols are traced in the air using torches or
ritual wands and the secret names of the watchers are called out. This type of
spirituality creates a higher vibration within the soul, allowing the soul to
escape the pull back into physical matter. Out of all that Wiccans perceiving
the order of the physical world, there arises a basic code of conduct: 1. If no
one is harmed by your action (either physical, emotionally or spiritually), then
do as you will to do in life, in accordance with your higher self. Seek your
identity and your purpose. 2. When someone dos something good for you then repay
the kindness by doing something good for another person, so that the seed that
was planted will bear fruit. 3. Keep your word and your oaths, when you give
them. 4. Do not kill anything, except when food or protection is required. 5.
Acknowledge and give due reverence to your gods, observing all of the sacred
times and festivals. 6. Do not belittle no one's beliefs, but simply offer what
it is you believe to be true. 7. Strive to live in peace with those that differ
with you. 8. Strive to be aware of those around you and seek compassion within
yourself. 9. Be true to your own understanding and strive to turn away from what
is opposed within you. 10. Helping others according to their need and according
to your ability to give of yourself. 11. Respect nature and strive to live in
harmony with her. Because much of the ancient Celtic beliefs and practices have
been lost due to roman and Germanic conquest, it is difficult to say with
certainty what they truly were. Fortunately we do know a great deal historically
about those cultures with which the Celts had prolonged contact. By comparing
those beliefs that have been passed on to us in the Wiccan religion with those
relating to foreign ones that we can historically document, it is possible to
make good case for the antiquity and validity of Wiccan claims to actual ancient
practices and beliefs.
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